I am feeling great big blog love for The Harridan, 52 Seductions and Suburban Matron. Should I embarrass myself with all the gushing about how smart and funny and irresistible I find these blogs and admit that I have been working my way through the archives and am making the authors my very own imaginary friends? Never mind, whatever you may imagine, I'm definitely not having at this exact moment a special tea party in the garden around a little table with their blog banners stuck on over the faces of my three favourite cuddly toys. That would be creepy.
So it is glaringly obvious to me (and now, to you) that I need to expand my social horizons, but how? I am toying with joining the American Women's Club in the hope that there will be a number of delightful, underemployed, overeducated, politically and socially leftish types with whom to partake of luncheon or the occasional sweetmeat while we pass the time with our needlework. I want it to be like Sex and the City, without the labels and incessant jabbering about cocks and money and with added vintage clothes and people-watching and smart high/low cultural content. I fear that it will be more like the Harper Valley PTA.
Here chez Ingrate we are watching the fourth season of The Sopranos and I am already worrying about it all finishing too soon. The characters are brilliantly well-realised, the stories are credible and gripping, there is a great balance of horror and humour, and a certain lovely man of this parish is just perfecting his Silvio Dante impersonation, so there will be a huge mournful hole in our lives when it's all over.
My head is a little bit all over the place these days. Pre-menstrual, yes, but also just the usual weirdness. Everything just sloshing all around. I'm giving beta blockers a go for the doorstep anxiety (that moment when I have a sort of emotional stutter about getting out of the house) and it seems like they may be useful. I had a proper internal meltdown on Saturday getting ready to go to a friend's for lunch - couldn't think straight, heart pounding, hands shaking, resisting the idea of going at all. I told the lovely man I was struggling and he was blessedly wonderful and gave me some room to wring my hands and wig the fuck out and then I organised myself and managed it and we left about an hour later than we had planned. I felt guilty about being late but fucking hell, I was glad I got there in the end.
On a domestic note, everything that comes out of the dishwasher smells (and sometimes tastes) like dishwasher soap. I no longer put my silicone baking stuff in there after the soapy bread incident, and today's last crust of banana cake (stored in a plastic Lock and Lock box) also was a little tainted. Since living in a communal house where I regularly shopped, cooked and washed up after meals for 12-15 people, I am a champion washer-upper. I can do a sink full of dishes (both sides of plates, removing gungy crust from pots and pans, sparkling glassware, etc.) before you have even mustered your tea towel and taken your drying-up position. Dishwashers are the work of the devil. They promise the luxury of capable housework completed at the touch of a button, but they deliver half-hearted rinses, redistributed desiccated powdery food remnants baked on the wine glasses and nasty sluglike surprises from the bottom of the cutlery basket. Like most Americans, I am generally optimistic about technology, but as an individual, I often suspect I would do it better with my own hands. (Though if the household technology gods are listening, I would rather cut off my own arms than manually launder the bedclothes.)
And finally, I know this is old and probably everyone and his grandmother have seen it, but I can't get it out of my head: